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Dark-side personality and its relationship with leadership, stress, and coping, and the efficacy of targeted feedback

Hancock, Tracey Maria Louise (2021) Dark-side personality and its relationship with leadership, stress, and coping, and the efficacy of targeted feedback. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

There is a growing interest in dark-side personality and its influence over leader behaviour, particularly in relation to derailment (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). Dark-side personality traits are extensions of normal personality that become more evident under stress. To date, few occupational studies have examined the influence of dark-side personality on stress. This dissertation comprises of two studies, the first examines the relationships between dark-side personality, leadership style, stress, strain, and coping and the second explores the effectiveness of feedback as an intervention to modify leadership style, stress, strain, and coping.

The first study used a convenience sample of leaders (n = 111; 82% male; age M = 45.26; SD = 7.65) from the resources sector in Western Australia. Participants completed the Hogan Development Survey, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and the Occupational Stress Inventory. Results showed that Excitable or Sceptical traits were associated with leaders who were more likely to suffer from stress and strain, and less likely to use coping resources. Leaders with an Excitable disposition were unlikely to use Transformational leadership, a leadership style which could reduce their levels of stress and strain and increase their use of coping resources. Leaders with a Sceptical disposition were more likely to use Transactional leadership which is not associated with a reduction in stress or strain, or an increase in coping resources. Transformational leadership was identified as a significant mediator for the relationships between dark-side personality traits and leaders’ experience of strain and their use of coping resources.

Study 2 randomly assigned participants to feedback intervention groups; specifically, the Dark-Side Personality group; the Leadership Style group; the Stress, Strain, and Coping Resources group; and the Control group. Results showed that feedback did not cause any significant change in leadership style or perceptions of stress, strain, and coping resources. Methodological issues including sample size and the nature of the feedback are considered and the implications regarding the associations between dark-side personality, leadership style, stress, strain, and coping are discussed in relation to leader development.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Supervisor(s): Ditchburn, Graeme and Brook, Libby
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/63313
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